Toll Free 800-599-0190  |  USA 562-408-6677
International Vehicle Shipping and
Moving Specialists Since 1977

Get Your Quote Today:

New Year’s Eve Traditions Around the World

champange-flutes-bucket
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Closing out the holiday season is New Year’s Eve. The whole world celebrates the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new year together, despite the diverse array of holidays that came just a few weeks earlier. When the clock strikes midnight on December 31, the world celebrates in anticipation of what the new year will bring.

The world doesn’t celebrate all at once because, well, time zones. The first countries to celebrate the new year are Samoa, Tonga, and the small island of Kiritimati (Christmas Island), which is part of Kiribati. The last countries to celebrate the new year are American Samoa and Baker Island, part of the United States. While Samoa and American Samoa are only about 100 miles apart, they are 25 hours apart timewise. When it is 12 p.m. local time in American Samoa, it is 1 p.m. of the next day in Samoa, local time.

How Other Countries Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Typically in the United States, New Year’s traditions include crowds gathering to watch the famous Times Square Ball drop, whether right in the heart of New York City or on television in the comfort of home. When the clock strikes midnight, couples kiss to ensure another year of love, and communities send fireworks into the sky in celebration.

This holiday is celebrated across the world, so each country has its own customs for ringing in the new year. Check out how these 10 countries celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Spain

The Spanish New Year’s tradition is to eat 12 green grapes at the stroke of midnight. The grapes are eaten at each dong of the bell, one at a time. Las doce uvas de la suerte (“the 12 lucky grapes”) each symbolize the months of the year, and they are supposed to bring good luck.

Denmark

The Danish don’t fret if a plate chips during the year. They save these for New Year’s Eve to then smash against the homes of friends and family to banish bad spirits.

Finland

In this Nordic country, people predict what the upcoming year will look like by casting molten tin into a small container of water. Whatever shape the tin takes when it hardens is what the new year will bring. Shapes resembling a heart or ring mean a wedding, a ship predicts lots of traveling, and a pig means there will be plenty of food available.

Scotland

During the New Year’s Eve celebration of Hogmanay, the Scottish practice “first-footing.” The first person to cross the threshold of a home in the new year is to carry with them a gift for good luck.

Greece

Traditionally, an onion is hung on the front door of homes on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of rebirth. The next morning on New Year’s Day, parents will wake their children by tapping them on the head with an onion.

Colombia

For those with a never-ending taste for adventure, Colombians will carry an empty suitcase around the block at midnight in hopes of a travel-filled new year.

Ecuador

In Ecuador, the new year is celebrated by burning paper-filled scarecrows and and photographs from the last year at midnight. This tradition brings in good fortune by scaring off bad spirits.

Brazil

In Brazil, your entire outfit for the evening is carefully considered. Whatever color your underwear is symbolizes what the new year will bring. Popular colors are red (love), yellow (money), green (luck), and white (peace).

Philippines

In the Philippines, it’s not just a random occurrence for the confetti to be in the shape of a circle. Round shapes represent coins, symbolizing prosperity for the next year. People will wear polka dots and eat round fruits at midnight.

Japan

In alignment with Buddhist beliefs, the new year is literally rung in by ringing bells in the temples 108 times. This number represents human desires and suffering, and ringing a bell 108 times is meant to cleanse oneself.

Thinking about cleaning your slate and starting the new year in a new country? Contact the moving specialists today to get a free quote for household goods shipping. From all of us here at Schumacher Cargo Logistics, we wish you a happy new year!

Schumacher Cargo Logistics utilizes insured, secured and bonded facilities. We provide warehousing, packing, crating, trucking and loading services out of our own warehouses here in the USA - Los Angeles, Houston, Savannah, Miami, New York, and New Jersey. All other worldwide destinations are covered by our affiliated organization member companies.